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Essential Safety Tips for Parents

Being a parent is one of the most rewarding and challenging jobs any person can have. It can be helpful to keep these tips in mind as a parent, especially with such as huge responsibility on your shoulders:

  • Make sure that you are aware of where your children are at all times.
  • Teach them to update you regularly, especially if there is any change of plans.
  • Have them memorize important information, such as their full name, home address, phone numbers, and your workplace.
  • Teach them the "buddy system" from early on.
  • Establish boundaries for where your children are allowed to go, who they are allowed to play with, and what activities they can participate in.
  • Remind them that it is ok to tell an adult NO, especially if they are a stranger.
  • Teach them to be cautious of adults who ask children for "help".
  • Run through "what if" scenarios with them to help develop safety plans.
  • Teach your children how to call 911 in emergency situations.

Parking Lot Safety Tips

More and more news stories are featuring individuals who have been attacked or injured while walking to or trying to get into their car in a parking lot. Though you may be surrounded by other cars in a public space, it does mean you can turn your guard off. Below are some parking lot safety that can be very helpful:

  • Always try to park in well-lit, populated areas.
  • Avoid parking next to people waiting in parked cars or large, unmarked vans.
  • Stay alert to your surroundings, avoid any distractions like texting or listening to music with earbuds.
  • If you feel uncomfortable or in danger, be sure to seek out security officers.
  • Continue to scan the area whenever you leave or renter your vehicle.
  • If you feel like someone is trying to force you into a vehicle, make a scene and fight as much as possible.
  • Always check to see if you are being following and make sure your doors haven't been broken into or unlocked.

Automobile Safety Tips

Driving a vehicle can become such a regular habit that we often forgot some of the key tips we should follow on a daily basis. For helpful information on driving and beneficial tips, be sure to read the following:

  • Keep your seatbelt on at all times.
  • If you have children, make sure you install a booster or car seat for them for extra protection. You should follow all manufacturer instructions for installation.
  • Avoid texting, talking on the phone, or using any electronics while driving. Simply put, it isn't worth it.
  • Don't attempt to multitask while driving. Whether that means putting on makeup on your morning commute or scarfing down a quick meal before you get back to the office, make sure you take care of any other tasks before entering your car.
  • Stay aware of others on the road. You are not the only driver out there! Sharing the road means you are aware of pedestrians, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and other vehicles. Taking extra caution on curves and hills can help prevent a deadly accident.
  • Keep an emergency kit in your car at all times. This can include things like water, roadside assistance numbers, blankets, flashlights, trail mix, tire chains, matches, jumper cables, a first-aid kit, and a tire gauge.
  • If you are planning a long drive or headed to a different location you don't normal drive to, make sure someone knows where you are going.

What to Do After an Accident

Car accidents happen every day. Despite that, it can be extremely nerve wracking to be involved in an accident yourself. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind if you or someone on the road near you were to get into an accident:

  • Try to stay as calm as possible so that you can stay in control of the situation.
  • Check on your own health, then the health of your passengers.
  • Make sure you move as far away from the road as possible without leaving the scene of the accident.
  • Call 911 as soon as possible to alert them of the accident and ask for help if necessary.
  • Turn on your hazard lights to alert other cars on the road, especially if it is dark outside.
  • Contact your insurance company to report the claim.
  • Make sure you swap information with the other driver or drivers involved, such as car insurance, policy number, name, phone number, license plate, and email.
  • Write down names and contact information of any potential witnesses.
  • Avoid admitting fault or discussing the accident with anyone around, except for police or medical crews and your attorney.

Tips for Winter Drivers

It pays to be prepared for the unexpected when driving in winter weather conditions. Alongside usual road hazards, cold and harsh weather conditions come with risks of black ice, low visibility, and other hazards that can make an otherwise simple driving experience more difficult. Make sure you are prepared for when the winter hits by doing the following:

  • Make sure your car is in good working order, regular checking parts like the battery, brakes, heating, and windshield fluid.
  • Avoid risk of running out of gas or other threats by always keeping your gas tank at least more than halfway full during the winter.
  • Put snow tires on your car, or at least all-weather radials that have adequate tread for your weather conditions.
  • Maintain the best level of visibility at all times.
  • Keep safety items in your car, such as blankets, gloves, jackets, matches, ice scrappers, chains, flashlight and batteries, first-aid kit, jumper cables, cellphone charger, energy bars, and more.
  • When driving, make sure you pull out of streets slowly, especially if there is low visibility caused by snow.
  • Try to avoid making sharp turns so that you don't lose control of your vehicle in bad conditions.
  • If your car has anti-lock brakes, you will need to press on them strongly if you start to skid on ice.
  • If you start skidding, and do not have anti-lock brakes, gentle pump your brakes to try and regain control. If you try to slam your brakes, you may cause your wheels to lock.

Traveling During a Severe Storm

While it is better to avoid traveling during a severe blizzard or storm, sometimes there is no other option. If you're facing severe weather conditions, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Never travel alone when you are facing a severe storm. If you can't find a driving buddy, make sure you notify someone when you leave, what route you are taking, and your estimated time of arrival.
  • If you happen to get stuck in a storm, make sure you stay in your vehicle and wait for help. Try to run the engine and heater sparingly and keep the vehicle ventilated. If your exhaust pipe is clogged or blocked by debris, you may accidently breathe in poisonous fumes.
  • Eat food and drink liquids to prevent dehydration and fatigue. You can eat before you leave so that you are headed out on a full stomach and be sure to keep water, snacks, and energy bars in your car if you know you are headed into a storm.

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